The moso are blind bards who wander the country, playing for all and sundry. They specialize in religious songs and are sometimes employed to drive evil spirits from a house with their music. In addition to their religious music, they also know a repertoire of secular songs, and it is in this connection that they find themselves working with the yakuza, who regulate all entertainment within their district. Most moso find it easier to cooperate with the yakuza and pay their dues, when required, to a district’s oyabun. The traditional instrument of the moso is the biwa.

The moso is an archetype of the bard class.

Class Skills

The moso’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Knowledge (all) (Int), Linguistics (Int), Perception (Wis), Perform (oratory, singing, string) (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), Stealth (Dex), Use Magic Device (Cha).

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

A moso is proficient with all simple melee weapons, plus all one-handed swords. Moso are also proficient with light armor, though not with shields, and can cast bard spells while wearing light armor without incurring the normal arcane spell failure chance. Like any other arcane spellcaster, a moso wearing medium or heavy armor incurs a chance of arcane spell failure if the spell in question has a somatic component. A multiclass moso still incurs the normal arcane spell failure chance for arcane spells received from other classes.


All moso are blind and automatically fail any visual Perception checks. Moso cannot use scrolls or any other magical item requiring reading or functioning eyes. However, they are immune to gaze attacks and other effects which target the eyes. Moso are trained to use their other senses, particularly their ears, and gain a +10 class bonus to all auditory Perception checks. A trained moso’s other senses are so acute that, unless a target succeeds on a Stealth check, the moso can identify, by sound (and sometimes smell), any creature within 20 feet and suffers no penalties in melee combat from being blind or when attacking invisible creatures. A moso can target creatures he can identify with spells or ranged attacks but all creatures outside of the moso’s sensory range benefit from full concealment. All Disguise checks made against a moso suffer a -10 penalty. An effect which nullifies sound or renders a moso deaf suppresses this ability. A moso’s ability to audibly discern an individual’s location and identity improves by 5 feet at 5th, 10th, 15th and 20th level.

Bardic Performance

A moso gains the following types of bardic performance.

Ward (Sp)

At 1st level, a moso can use his music to guard his listeners against evil influences. When a moso uses this ability, all listeners within 30 feet of the moso’s playing and singing benefit as if affected by protection from evil for the duration of the performance.

This ability replaces distraction.

Counterfear (Su)

At 1st level, a moso can use his music to strengthen the resolve of others. For the duration of the performance, all listeners within 30 feet have a bonus to saves versus fear equal to half the moso’s class level, and those already under the effects of fear are allowed a new saving-throw each round.

This ability replaces fascinate.

Song of Life (Su)

At 6th level, the moso can use his music to damage undead. For the length of the performance, all undead within 30 feet of the moso must succeed at a Will save each round (where the DC is equal to 10 +1/2 class level + Charisma modifier) or take 2d6 points of damage. The amount of damage increases by 1d6 every 3 levels to a maximum 6d6 at 18th level.

This ability replaces suggestion.

Dismissal (Sp)

At 12th level, a moso can use his bardic performance to create an effect identical to dismissal. To use this ability the moso must perform uninterrupted for 4 rounds and the target must hear the song the entire time.

This ability replaces soothing performance.

Soothing Performance (Su)

A moso gains soothing performance at 18th level in place of mass suggestion.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

The Way of the Yakuza Copyright 2011, Steven D. Russell and Michael Tumey, all rights reserved; Author Jonathan McAnulty.

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